WE'VE joined forced with renowned punter James Cantrill (@JimmyThePunt) to set-up and share our Colossus Premier League Predictor selections ahead of Sunday's Premier League highlight between Chelsea and Manchester United.
What will the Correct Score be?
There have been 22 games between the traditional Big Six in the Premier League this season, with 59% seeing fewer than three goals.
Manchester United have played five such games, four of which ended 0-0, and a third of Chelsea’s such matches ended all-square. It is worth noting that previous head-to-head results show that this fixture is more than capable of throwing up a thrilling affair, however, I expect it to go the way of the most recent bout which finished 0-0.
Under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea have been constantly efficient and edged games on quality. They dominate games with territorial, possession-based football. Given how Ole Gunnar Solskjær likes to set his stall out in the big away games – contain and counter- the hosts tactics will suit his side and will likely play into the hands of a draw.
If I had to put all my eggs in one basket I would opt for the 0-0 at Stamford Bridge but given the fragility of both defenses, I am also going to cover a scoreline of 1-1.
Selection: 0-0, 1-1
Will a penalty be taken?
Stuart Attwell has the whistle for this one – he has given 0.36 penalties per-game this season with his most recent one being awarded in the last game he took charge off.
Both sides have averaged 0.32 per-game in the EPL having received eight each.
In terms of time spent in the opposition third, Chelsea rank seventh averaging 29% per game whilst Man Utd rank fourth averaging 31%. I
n the sides last six head-to-heads, there has been a total of three penalties in half of those games, all of which were awarded to the Red Devils.
All things considered I am going to cover both bases here.
Selection: Yes, No
Will a player be sent off?
This season, Attwell has overseen a total of 15 games in the Premier League and EFL, and brandished just one red card. During his career, he has only issued a red card in 13% of the 128 top-flight games, however, two of his last four reds came in the 2019/20 season and were dealt in matches between the Big Six.
Both Manchester United and Chelsea have received one red card this season in the league. The visitors' sending off came against Spurs and Chelsea’s arrived against Liverpool. However, there has not been one in any of the last six head-to-heads.
Given Attwell’s record and the recent history, I don’t think they’ll be a red card on Sunday.
Will a goal be scored in the 1st half?
In the last six clashes between these sides there has been 16 goals scored, six of which came in the first half. However, two of those goals came in additional time and two were penalties. The other two games in the most distant meetings of that six-game sample came when Maurizio Sarri was in charge of Chelsea so it is not that relevant.
Five of the 12 goals Chelsea have scored under Tuchel arrived before half-time, whilst 42% of the games have featured a goal before the break. As for Man Utd, four of their last five games against the Big Six have ended goalless and the deadlock was broken by a penalty in the 69th minute in the only game to feature a goal.
Therefore, given Man Utd’s bleak recent record I am going to opt for a goalless first have here.
How many corners will be taken by Chelsea?
Under Tuchel, Chelsea have averaged 6.9 corners per-game, hitting six vs Atletico Madrid and seven vs Spurs. Under his reign though, they have had as few as two and as many as 12.
Therefore, to air on the side of caution I am going to cover five up to eight.
Selection: 5-6, 7-8
How many corners will be taken by Man Utd?
In their two games away from home against the Big Six, United have averaged five corners taking seven vs Arsenal and three at Liverpool. In total they have averaged 5.2 corners against the league's elite. However, if you exclude their first game against Spurs – where they went down to 10 men – this average rises to 5.80.
Given the scope in corner totals they have hit in games vs the Big Six – ranging from two to nine – I have decided to cover three to six here as game state could be a huge factor.
Selection: 3-4, 5-6
How many cards will be shown to Chelsea?
With Attwell in charge, this fixture literally has the best referee the top-flight has to offer in terms of brandishing cards, averaging 4.21 yellows per-game this season.
Chelsea have 1.4 cards per-game this season. Staggeringly though, since Tuchel took charge they have received zero cards in half of his games, averaging 0.87. However, it is worth noting that two of those eight games were in cup competitions.
In the only game vs the Big Six that Tuchel has overseen thus far, Chelsea received three yellow cards. Therefore, I am covering two to three cards.
Selection: 2, 3
How many cards will be shown to Man Utd?
The last six meetings between these sides have seen an average of 4.7 yellows per-game. In the last four league games between these sides, Man Utd have received exactly three cards in all of them.
Whilst they have only averaged 1.6 cards per game this season, they have 2.4 in their games vs the Big Six and received exactly three cards in 67% of those games.
Selection: 3, 4
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